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July 5, 2017

Venus Williams

Wimbledon, London, England


4-6, 6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had a kind of tough match with her in Paris, and today obviously tough. Something about her game or did you get off to a slow start? Tell us what happened today.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, Paris was straight sets. Completely different surface. I think she just toward the end of the first set started landing a lot of shots. I didn't do a ton wrong. She just had an opportunity to be more aggressive. I had to at that point focus on the next two sets.

Q. That was your 97th match here at Wimbledon. That's more than any active player, male or female. Can you comment on that? And also, if someone had told you 20 years ago when you first played here you'd reach 97, what would you have thought?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No idea. Wow. I never look at the stats. So, wow. I'd love to reach 100. That would be awesome.

Q. What would you put that longevity down to?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just love for the game. I love doing this. You have to. It's a lot of work, a lot of pressure. It's not easy. Just love.

Q. Naomi Osaka next opponent. You haven't played her before, but a lot of people have talked about her for a few years now one of the most talented young players. Have you gotten a chance to see her before? What are your thoughts on her game and her potential?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have seen her play before. I think we play a really similar game. I hope that my experience will help me to play that game that we play better.

Q. How do you play a player who is like you? That's a pretty big compliment.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Win more points.

Q. This was a very tough match and seemingly emotional. Also, you're right on the precipice right there on the second set after losing the first. Can this be a springboard for you to win this kind of tight match early in the tournament, to really getting your groove going?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, there's challenges on the court, and she played a great match. She didn't let go. When I had opportunities to break, she would play breakpoints, serve well.

So I have to give her a lot of credit for pushing the match to the limit. I was happy in the third to have, like, a couple breaks to have some room to close it out. So I think that helped.

A lot of credit to her, and I hope of course it helps me in the Championships.

Q. What does Wimbledon give you? You have given it so much over the years. When you step on the court, when you walk around the grounds, what are the feelings? What are the pleasures that you get from being around this place?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know if I necessarily think about it like that, because when we're here, you're so focused on tennis that you don't think about the pleasure. So I think you probably think about that when the career is over. It's just all business.

Q. And when you step on the court, and you win, and you have the smile, you know, that lights up a room, do you ever look back at the images of those experiences and what feelings do you get when you do?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I totally look forward. That's the kind of person I am. It's like the past is something that you can't change if it was good or bad. I like to live in the future. I want to accomplish more. I don't want to, like, think about the past per se. It's done.

Q. Did you ever feel at any point in the match today that you might not be able to dig your way back into it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course there's moments where your opponent seems to have momentum, but I was always thinking about how I could turn it and what I could do to turn it towards my way. That was my focus today.

Q. There has been some discussion about the number of people retiring in the first round. There were seven men and only one woman. Radwanska said earlier women had a tougher mentality and were less likely to quit. Is that something you would agree with?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think mentality is different for each person, man or woman.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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